Aflatoxin In Malawi: Prevalence,
Actions and Way Forward
Misheck M.M. Soko1, Limbikani Matumba1, Isaac Gokah2 and
Bridget Kauma2
1
Department of Agricultural Research services, Box 30779, Lilongwe and 2Ministry of Industry and
Trade, PO Box 30366. Capital City Lilongwe 3
1
Background
• Agricultural based economy producing
crops both for food and sale (domestic
and export)
• Lies in tropics where climate is conducive
for :
– Groundnuts, maize (plus other cereals) and
cassava production– staple and for economic
livelihood
– All conducive to Mycotoxin production
including aflatoxin
2
Safety of food in Malawi…
•Farmer awareness of aflatoxins: 28%
•2/3 of the farmers thought its only
peanut problem
1
1Matumba
et al Unpublished results
3
Extent of Aflatoxin contamination in
Malawi
Product
Survey yr # of
samples
Tolerable
level (μg/kg)
>Tolerable
level (μg/kg)
Mean±STDev.(μg/kg)
Maize1
2011
90
3*
34%
164±248
Maize2
2012
180
3*
43%
70±107
Maize based
2012
9
10**
89%
90±95
Peanut butter4
2012
14
10**
100%
76±23
Groundnuts5
2008
1053
4***
46%
-
Groundnuts 5
2009
4***
23%
-
beer3
1-Matumba et al. manu in prep;
2-Matumba et al., 2013; World Mycotoxin Journal 6(4): 367-373
3-Matumba et al., 2014. Food Control 39: 87-914
4-Matumba et al., 2014. Food control 36: 253-256
5-Monyo et al., 2012. Crop Protection 42: 149-155
*Standard for ready to eat food: CAC ,1995 (CODEX STAN 193-1995).
** Malawi Bureau of Standards
** ** EC regulation
4
Regulation of mycotoxins In Malawi
•
Mycotoxin regulations have little impact on agrarian setup in Malawi
– Production is subsistence : 85% of population producing their own
– 65% of population are poor and 36% ultra poor(<$1/day) making practically
impossible for people to discard contaminated food
5
Origin of Malawi Program for Aflatoxin
Control (MAPAC)
• Multi Criteria Decision Analysis to Identify and
Prioritize Key Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS)
Capacity Building Options and Needs for Malawi
resulted in identification of 16 capacity building
options and needs
• Aflatoxin being amongst the first 4 that were
consistently ranked as high priority
• Scoping study conducted and resulted in the MAPAC
document
6
The Aflatoxin Mitigation Challenge in
Malawi
• Piecemeal approach to Aflatoxin control with
little impact
• Lack of “National” effort to mitigate aflatoxin
contamination – the reason for MAPAC
• Regional involvement patchy and limited
7
Rational for MAPAC
It is a national program that:
• takes stock of existing initiatives to address aflatoxin
contamination in groundnuts and maize
• Identifies outstanding gaps
• prioritizes and promote coordination and synergies among
various stakeholders involved in addressing aflatoxin-related
problems
• An initial effort to:
– create a shared vision and prioritize entry points, and suggests
mechanisms for effective coordination and collaboration
– A conduit to effectively engage in regional/ continental efforts such as
PACA
8
Objectives of MAPAC
• Develop Malawi’s capacity to effectively control
aflatoxins in key value chains (esp. for Groundnut &
Maize)
9
MAPAC Components
1. Mainstreaming (Integrating) Good Practices and Technologies
into key Value Chains
– Research – resistance screening, Biocontrol (initiatives in place –
USAID interested in funding this aspect)
– awareness creation, training and technology dissemination
– Strengthening supply-chain coordination for mainstreaming practices/
technologies;
2. Testing, Standards & Policies
– Diagnostic testing and accreditation
– Standards, regulations and policy frameworks
– Increase access to rapid screening for mycotoxin to farmers
3. Public awareness, advocacy, and consumer education
• Augment farmers’ knowledge about Pre- and Post-harvest prevention
and management strategies for mycotoxins (not only aflatoxin)
10
A shared vision:
Advancing Collaboration
for Effective Aflatoxin
Control in Malawi
11
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